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The caption of the picture for this article should be “It’s just one win.”
Nearly each week during the NFL season, I write an article about how my forays into fantasy football, daily fantasy and betting on the games are going. There has been a ton of parity this year, there are a ton of surprise teams and it makes putting money on the line a tough ask, actually. Historically, I look at what other writers are predicting and try to keep up with them. Those same writers that are right over 55% of the time (which is what I’ve thought of as a benchmark of a good gambling writer) are all over the place this season. I counted myself among them going into this year. I’ve had to shake off my personal bias and look at as much information as I can before I come to you with it, otherwise I’m sort of half-assing it, amirite?
I’m happy to eat crow , at least initially, as I haven’t appeared in a podcast since the Colts fired Frank Reich and hired Jeff Saturday. I care, just as Jeff as said, about the players and staff and employees of the Colts. I am satisfied with the firing of Reich as I am worried about not only his mental health but was growing concerned with his personnel management. We talk about at work “when work becomes personal” it affects outcomes. I think, specifically speaking about Nyhiem Hines, Marcus Brady and Frank Reich that something was off. They all 3 got removed from the organization within a month. Clearly I’m right, right?
I want to say Nightmare felt and was misused, Marcus couldn’t fix that or right the offensive line (why him and not Strausser?) and then when Reich took over playcalling, it all went downhill from there. I think Frank Reich’s firing teaches us a lesson in body language and facial expression. He looked defeated mid-game a lot. His teams came out flat a lot. I think when you come out flat, it’s because you failed to motivate your players to “get up” at the right time over and over again and didn’t readjust. It was habitual and appeared to be a feature and not a bug.
Winning solves a lot of things and my takeaway from that win against the Raiders last week is that the game means a lot to a few, as evidenced by Derek Carr’s crying during his postgame press conference. I have been talking about wanting Derek Carr as my quarterback for awhile because he wants it and is capable and delivers over and over. His organization fails him over and over again and still he delivers. Anyway, that’s the mark of a legend. May not win a Super Bowl ring in Las Vegas, though.
I just read the blog entry from last week to see that I was wrong about the Seahawks (fine) and right about the Giants, Titans and Vikings. I’ll take that! I also didn’t really make a pick in either the Colts or Jaguars game. That’s my bad.
I’m going to start by telling you that while I don’t think the Jets +3.5 will beat the Patriots in Foxboro but that I think organizationally this is about the best the Jets have looked in years, so if there was ever a day, is it today? You can take the Jets +3.5 and hope they keep it close or surprise you. I’d definitely be remiss if I didn’t tell you that betting against Bill Belichick is like our Rule 1 of Fight Club, you know what I mean? You do it often enough and they’ll have you comitted.
Similarly, I’d be crazy to sit here and be like “hur dur the Colts +6.5 CLEARLY SHOWED SOMETHING SPECIAL last week in Las Vegas”. Listen, friend. You are what you REPEATEDLY do. The Colts repeatedly give up yards and catches to opposing #1-2 WRs and get gashed on the ground when they do let in the run game. They regularly have no defensive pass rush and their best defensive player AKA Shaquille Leonard is on IR for the season. Their offensive line has clearly regressed and yes, Jeff Saturday did light a fire under them and they still only beat a 2-7 Raiders team that was short-handed 25-20. Take the Colts +6.5, know that it absolutely could be a home blowout loss, and hope that I’m wrong and that the carryover from last week remains.
To close, I want to see home teams toughen up a bit and have the Steelers +3.5, the Chargers +5.5 and the Cardinals +8 all losing but being a tough out at home. I have the opinion that anytime the spread is over 3 points, we’re gambling. When Vegas has a football spread less than 3 points, they’re probably right. That’s how I bet it. For example, I’d stay away from the Cowboys/Vikings +1.5 game because Minnesota is a home underdog. Tricky.
What you got?
Again even moreso than normal, my teams have been especially middling this year with the exception of the god squad mock fantasy football league I’m in where I still have league leaders at four spots in Lamar Jackson, Travis Kelce, Saquan Barkley and Christian McCaffery. I did not trade into this scenario. Just like most of your leagues, this was a mostly autodrafted PPR “practice” league. My team is 7-3 and has largely been hands off all season. This is the dream and not at all a reality.
My reality is that my colleagues at Stampede Blue are competent as are the people in my cash league, so what I’ve learned this year is to not dawdle when it comes to money or things you care about like a fantasy football league with the other sportwriters you work with. No QB and No WR as fantasy football draft styles have produced middling results this season and I look forward to debuting my new fantasy football draft style called “get your guy and go”. I should’ve just done that this year instead of trying different draft styles.
How’s your fantasy football season going? What’s your record? Got a god squad?
I’m happy to report that my last two DFS rosters have minimum cashed for me, which is not an indicator that my strategy is working but speaks more towards blind squirrels finding nuts. What I’ve tried to do is pick up the big narrative of the week. These big sports networks find some bulletin board material every week and it amplifies an indirect matchup. For example, last week I caught wind of the Stefon Diggs/Justin Jefferson matchup and put them both on my DFS roster. It cashed for me and was the second week in a row I’d taken whatever the big story for the week was and tried to see who would benefit from that. $5 later...
This week, I like the base of Joe Burrow, Cordarelle Patterson, Jakobi Meyers and TJ Hockeson for value. I think it’s better if I give you a good value base to build from and let you fill out your own rosters. Let me know how it goes!